The excitement level is expectedly high as the 2020 edition of the Great Indian summer fest is fast approaching. The thirteenth edition of the lucrative league will kick-off on March 29th in what will be a repeat of last year's final, with Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium. Citing personal reasons, tight schedule, workload and injuries, several players have withdrawn from the tournament since its inception and this season will be no different in this aspect.
Hence franchises must be ready to balance as well bolster their squad in case some of their players pull out of 2020 IPL. In fact, a few players have cemented their spots despite coming in as a replacement signing after going unsold at the auctions.
One of the best examples is 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle who went on to establish himself as a mainstay in RCB's XI ever-since joining the franchise as a replacement to the injured former Aussie pacer Dirk Nannes back in 2011. On that note, let us look at three replacement signings of last season who despite going unsold at the auction might return to 2020 IPL as replacements.
1) Alzarri Joseph
Mumbai Indians roped in Alzarri Joseph as a replacement to the injured Kiwi speedster Adam Milne last season. The 23-year-old grabbed the headlines with his record-breaking bowling performance on his IPL debut against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their own backyard. In his fiery 3.4 over-spell, Joseph who finished with the figures of 6/12 registered the best figures in the history of IPL thereby surpassing Sohail Tanveer who took 6/14 against Chennai Super Kings back in season one.
The Antiguan who featured in just three matches for Mumbai Indians throughout 2019 IPL after coming in as a replacement was ruled out of the remainder of season twelve due to the shoulder injury he sustained against Rajasthan Royals and was eventually replaced by Beuran Hendricks.
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Though he was expected to be retained by Rohit Sharma's men for 2020 IPL having impressed in the few games he played last year, he was released by the four-time winners who acquired the services of Trent Boult during the trading window.
Despite proving himself in the league last year, he went unsold at 2020 IPL auction with a base price of INR 50 lakhs. Nevertheless, the talented pacer has been sensational in the West Indies' last two ODI assignments having finished as the highest wicket-taker on both occasions (10 wickets vs Sri Lanka and 8 wickets vs Ireland). Given his current form, bowling credentials and last year's IPL performance, Alzarri Joseph might once again come back as a replacement signing this season.